Bishop was frustrated by sharing net in Tampa Bay

Posted: 07/03/2017 in NHL, Sports
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Of all the names to find themselves listed on new rosters after the trade deadline, Ben Bishop‘s was arguably the most intriguing.

The former Tampa Bay Lightning netminder’s change of address wasn’t the surprise – he was involved in trade talks dating back to last summer – but rather the fact that the Los Angeles Kings dealt for his services. And one day after longtime starter Jonathan Quick returned from injury, no less.

Now, as the Kings fight to claim a playoff spot, the potential of a timeshare in net looms, with Quick and Bishop both ranking among the top starters in the game.

That might not be a very welcome development for Bishop given his thoughts on splitting time in the past.

In an interview with ESPN’s Scott Burnside this week, Bishop said the Lightning’s setup in net this year wasn’t exactly ideal.

“I was a little frustrated at the beginning of the season,” Bishop said. “Coming off of probably my best season of my career and not getting to play as much as I wanted to in Tampa. I wanted to kind of keep it the same as the last three years, because it had been working.

“We started switching goalies back and forth in Tampa, and it wasn’t working. We were falling in the standings and it was making me a little bit upset. Why fix what’s not broken?”

Bishop posted an impressive .921 save percentage over his three-and-a-half seasons with the Lightning, alongside 17 shutouts. He finished second in Vezina Trophy voting last season, losing out to Washington Capitals starter Braden Holtby.

Following the deal that sent Bishop to California, Kings general manager Dean Lombardi said the trade wasn’t simply a backup plan in case Quick was unable to find his form.

But he also stopped short of naming either man as the club’s No. 1 option.

“Best-case scenario, assuming Jon is at the top of his game, what’s the best number of games to play him?” Lombardi said to Jon Rosen at the time. “We had sketched that out, and said, ‘You know what? It makes a lot of sense for him, but we better get essentially another No. 1.'”

In the four games since Los Angeles acquired Bishop, he and Quick have each started twice. Quick earned the Kings’ only win during that stretch – a shootout victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.


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